Connecting health with technology is vital

The Health and Enterprise Ministers have visited Connected Health Ltd in Lisnaskea to see how using technology can enhance patient care.

During the visit, Edwin Poots and Arlene Foster met with local entrepreneurs who have established Connected Health Ltd, a company providing domiciliary care, and toured the facilities. The Ministers then met to discuss how their Departments' agendas of enhancing patient care and improving the economy can overlap and be mutually beneficial in this area.

Minister Poots commented: “Connected Health aims to improve patient care through the use of technology. My Department established the European Centre for Connected Health in 2008 and since then, the Centre has piloted a remote telemonitoring service for people with chronic disease in Northern Ireland.

“Evidence shows that when technology is used for remote monitoring of patients’ vital signs in their homes, we can intervene early when problems arise and avoid hospital admissions.

“This year’s pilot project in Northern Ireland has enabled over 1,000 new people with long term conditions to benefit from connected health services. We must continue to use innovative technologies to improve patient choice and allow patients to remain in their own homes wherever possible.”

The Ministers then met with Invest NI and DHSSPS officials to discuss how both Departments can work together to deliver improvements to people’s health whilst also contributing to the economy.

Enterprise Minister Arlene Foster said: “Many local companies are at the forefront of healthcare developments and have secured major success worldwide. There has been some collaboration, but I believe that significant opportunities remain for my Department and Invest NI, to work more closely with DHSSPS to secure additional health, social care and economic benefits from Connected Health.

“It is vital that we develop innovative solutions to managing chronic disease so that our citizens can enjoy independent living into old age. Health and social care expenditure is under significant pressure and the connected health agenda provides a valuable opportunity to strengthen our economy while reducing costs and improving healthcare services.”